Export, which takes up about half of the export-driven economy, amounted to 13.3 billion U.S. dollars in the January 1-10 period, up 5.3 percent from the same period of last year, according to Korea Customs Service.
It was attributed to strong demand for chips and oil products, of which export gained 11.5 percent and 30.6 percent respectively.
Outbound shipments of automobiles and auto parts declined 4.6 percent and 9.6 percent each, with the shipment of telecommunications devices such as smartphones sliding 4.8 percent in the cited period.
The country's export kept falling for 13 straight months through December. The government and experts projected the outbound shipment to rebound as early as in the first quarter of this year.
Shipments to Vietnam and Japan grew 11.7 percent and 6.0 percent each, with export to the Middle East advancing 45.3 percent in the period.
Export to China, South Korea's biggest trading partner, shrank 3.5 percent, and those to the United States and the European Union diminished 12.0 percent and 5.9 percent respectively.
Import went up 5.7 percent over the year to 15.4 billion U.S. dollars in the 10-day period, sending the trade deficit to 2.1 billion U.S. dollars.